Sunday, August 14, 2011

I See Trees of Green...

My friend Debbie Sawzak of Toronto sent me this gem she had written. I asked her permission to share it on my blog.
On my way into Brampton for the "Insurgency" the other night, I was listening to instrumental music that seemed to make the world around me into a movie. So I decided to have a good look at what was passing by, and enjoy it as something of which I was a little moving part. The thought struck me—perhaps as a result of having listened to Gunton on creation, having read Capon on the theme of what we are here for, and edited a chapter of Baxter’s book in which he goes on about the great dance and God’s delight in it—how intensely the triune God loves the world, not as an abstract entity but as a concrete, living ensemble of particular people and things. When you love someone, whether a spouse, child, or dear friend of long standing, you love them moving, sitting still, asleep, doing stuff; you love the way their hand looks holding a pen, the way they pedal a bicycle, the way they look up from a book when they hear something outside. There are instants when you just watch them and they don’t know it, and part of the sheer pleasure you have in doing so is linked to their unconsciousness of you in that moment. And I thought, as my eyes and ears took in everything around me, that it is probably the same for God: that he loves this elderly Asian lady, not just in general, but loves her specifically as she bobs up and down pulling that little bungee-corded cart of groceries behind her across the crosswalk, loves those two young twenty-something guys and the way they sit on that bench waiting for the bus, one leaning back with his legs sprawled in front of him and the other bent over with his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands. He loves how that girl strides along with her backpack on her back, her thumbs hooked in the straps. He takes a particular secret delight in enjoying them while they are paying no special attention to him, the way we do with those we love when they are absorbed in something.

And not only people, either: he loves how that tree sways and is moved differently but seamlessly by the swaying from the tip down to the lowest branch, how the four legs of that dog running along the sidewalk are so nimble and coordinated, how that bird alights flawlessly on the knife-edge of the top of that sign and manages to keep its perch there while a heavy truck whooshes by, how the clouds change shape and colour ever so slightly as the air moves them high above us. And not only things he’s made, either, but things we’ve made out of the things he’s made: he loves the way those words look as they scroll across that digital sign, the arrangement of bricks outlining and accenting the windows of that building, the distinctive ringing made by the bell on that boy’s bike as his thumb presses the lever and the little hammer strikes the metal numerous times a second, the way the red, green, and yellow lights control the traffic so that two lanes of cars start moving at once and turn left in a single smooth arc. He thinks, “Man, this is cool. I’m so glad this is here!” Of course, he also sees a whole lot of shabby and horrible and wrecked things that cause him sorrow, more sorrow and grief than we can possibly imagine. But this grief is also just as much part and proof of his loving, and he doesn’t give up.

I thought about how this material world is home for us, precious and familiar, and how it has become home for God too, precious and familiar, because he has been actively present in it all along, has even been here in the Son in the same flesh as ours by which we experience all these things.

All these thoughts drew praise from my heart.


Anonymous said...

Thank you my brother for sharing

SuperconductingBanana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zach Sawyer said...

Wow. I love it. One of my struggles is keeping this humanity of God in mind through the walk of life, and this is such an exquisite reminder of just how present He is.

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing Debbie
You have a gift in writing! It is true I should spend more time in having the mind of Jesus have me see the reality that is all around me. The beauty of all things in Him! Thanks for the reminder!

Anonymous said...

I like the thought in this that God doesn't give up on us/the world despite all the bad things that go on. The normal human reaction when something bad happens is to think God has abandoned us. The so-called 'death of God' resulted in no small part from the growing sense, turning into communal belief, that two world wars meant God was no longer in the building. And yet, here we are, still discussing the grace of the Trinity; the church, for better and worse, is proclaiming the incarnation, the death and the resurrection of Christ; and many parts of the church are trying hard to go great works to show the love of God in practical ways. God is not dead, but He is risen! He could easily have given up on us, but He hasn't. He promised to never leave us nor forsake us, and He appeals to us every moment of every day to respond to His mercies by presenting our whole selves as living sacrifices to Him. (Romans 12:1, which I heard preached on today.)

Warren, Sydney